We have been in New Zealand for just under a year now. It has been a year full of blessings and trials — aren’t they always?
While we were in training we decided that, when it came time for our kids to settle back into our home country, we would not like to rush the process, but rather take time to be alongside them as they went through it. One year on, we haven’t regretted our decision at all. We have chosen New Zealand because Simon’s extended family live here. We are feeling tremendously blessed by God and really supported by His people.
This year Simon has been working on the Bible study materials that the staff at the Bible and Missionary Training Centre in Manado have asked him to write. So far he has completed commentaries on James and Galatians and is now part way through 1 Timothy. Feedback from the principal has been VERY positive, which just adds to Simon’s motivation. He has also made two trips to our service nation, involving teaching and encouraging tribal churches, with the added blessing that we finally received our lifetime visas.
We see this time ‘at home’ not only vital for our children, to give them stability as they settle into ‘western life’, but also to give solid time to the writing of the Indonesian Bible materials. Without the distraction of the ‘hands on work’ that was constant when we lived in Manado, Simon is able to really focus on this job. Our national co-workers have indicated their need for something that they can clearly understand and which relates to their national translation of the Bible. This in turn will help them in teaching at the Training Centre and hopefully be a help to the National Bible Translators (there are still many remote peoples in Indonesia that do not have the Scripture in their own language).
Alan (21) has begun work with an antique clock repairer and is finding he is far more suited to it than he was to carpentry. Tania (19) has completed her final year of secondary school this year (she studied via Distance Education), and Rachael (17) has done well in her second last year of secondary school, attending the local Christian school.